Friday, June 28, 2013

Gone too Far?

or not far enough?
Summer Koi #2, 2013
acrylic on canvas
10" x10"
This painting above, started as this, below.  
The beginning of Summer Koi #2

Have we done enough? or too much? and often it is FEAR that drives us one way or another. 

Art, like life is that push pull. We keep working, until it's done or we move on.

Seth Godin in his blog states that 

Fearlessness is not the same as the absence of fear.  

By recognizing and acknowledging our fear, we can have "it", rather than it have us.

Saw the movie the Impossible recently. Freaked me out...especially because we all know it is based on the true story of the horrific tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2004. The beautiful clear turquoise waters become a moving mountain slamming and sweeping away everything in its path.

But heck, we get out of bed every morning, still travel, live our lives, enjoy the water... and keep going. 

One of my favorite quotes is by Helen Keller
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

Read more at 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Uplifting the Human Spirit - Artist as Collector

Vanessa Turner from the island of Bermuda is our guest blogger for this week's Artist as Collector Series.
© 2011 Sharon Wilson
LOOKING FORWARD - From The Sharon WIlson Gold Collection
Medium: pastel
Size: 11 x 14 inches

This is a painting I own by Sharon Wilson, an instructor I study with weekly, and one of Bermuda's greatest artists. Wilson's intention is to capture the beauty and spirit of Bermuda and to lift the human spirit with her work.

Much of Wilson's work focuses on children, their personal stories and life issues. Even at a young age, children have many significant ordeals pertaining to acceptance, value, how they carry themselves and find a place in the world, etc.

Recently, she a completed a powerful and beautiful series of young boys called "The Gold Collection". The purpose of this collection is to draw attention to the concerns of young black males in the community and the fear as it relates to increasing violence. Wilson states that "each of us hope that our child might contribute in some great way to society, but the road is long and we have become disillusioned by the amount of work and energy required to rear children...  I want you to see these little boys as malleable, open, and still trusting. I want the viewer to see them as children who are worth the effort".

 "Looking Forward" is from this series. It hangs on my wall as a reminder to myself that each of us has a journey full of challenges. But despite those challenges there is hope and a world of opportunity that awaits if we empower and love each other. The expression on the little boy's face is so captivating that you can't help but stare back at him.

Wilson is an inspiration to me as she uses her passion and gift for a purpose greater than herself, finding the true power of imagery. I can't help but admire her work and, be grateful for the opportunity to also know her as a person and have her in my life as a mentor.

Vanessa Turner works in pastel and charcoal to capture the everyday beauty of her island life and the people and the place who touch her heart.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Let the Daze Begin

First full day of Summer- yea!

Picture Perfect days. Gotta love 'em and appreciate them while they are here.  
Summer Koi #1, 2013
10" x 10"
Today is also the longest day of the year. More time to do... or more time to not do.

So easy to look at the weeds, the to do list, the pulls in all directions, but I plan to keep my list shorter and my naps longer.

You heard it here first.

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Simple Beauty Still a Favorite

Linda A. Miller is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.
Mola textile art

A friend returning from travels in the 1980’s brought me this mola textile.  It was my first exposure to the work by the Kuna artisans from the San Blas Islands of Panama.  I was drawn to the simple image and the layers of color.  This piece inspired further exploration into mola art. 

Incorporated into panels of blouses, molas are handmade by Kuna women using a reverse appliqué technique.  Several layers of different colored cloth are sewn together. The design is formed by cutting away parts from each layer and stitching them down.  

My appreciation for the intricate art form has grown over the years, paralleling a return to handwork in my own art making process.  I have since added to my collection, yet this bright image remains one of my favorites with its sweet simplicity of bird essence.

Linda A. Miller is a fiber artist living in Culver City, CA, where she creates fluid, colorful expressions using cloth.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Climbing Towards Greatness - Artist as Collector

Delaware based artist Kyle Ripp is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector series.

©Ancizar Marin
When asked to chose one of my favorite pieces of artwork from my collection all sorts of responses came to mind.  But after thinking about it, I knew which piece of art I wanted to share for the blog.  It is a bronze sculpture by Ancizar MarinI found it down at the beach at the Philip Morton Gallery in Rehobeth, Delaware.  

I had been looking at the piece for several years and then this year I decided to buy one for each of my two children and one for my husband and I as our holiday gifts. It has become a symbol of what living is all about for us as a family.  I see the person not just climbing up as a struggle but one always working toward greatness. 

Life is about movement, up or down and we always have a choice to pause, reflect, change  and continue forth on the journey .  

Kyle Ripp has developed a unique artistic technique combining elements of both painting with sculptural etching. The process involves both addition and subtraction of the surface and the image which allows the work to evolve organically. She is also the Co-Founder and Director of Project Space in Wilmington, DE. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Racing Shoes- Shoe Portrait Commission

Last week I sent out both of the two Shoe Portrait Commissions that I had been working on, but held off posting pictures of them until they were received. Only fair that the collectors get to see them first.

Each of the two paintings were to be a graduation gift from a mother to her son. It was easy to put myself in their shoes (!) Shoes hold memories that we cherish, want to remember, share and celebrate.
Racing Shoes, 2013
acrylic on canvas
10" x 10"
I was thrilled to read the email from Nancy Greene who commissioned the pair of track shoes for her son:

The painting is beautiful. Adam was very happy and is going to bring it to his new dorm room in August.  He also said that it turns out that those were his first pair of racing shoes.  We are very excited!! I found myself going into his room this morning to look at it over and over.
Thank you so much,

Every picture not only tells a story, but has the capacity to keep these stories alive.
Is there a pair of shoes in your child's closet that holds special memories you want to keep?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Find Your Cozy

Crazy weather everywhere... tornadoes, droughts, and here on the east coast, rain, rain and more rain.  Perfect time to get cozy... dig out your comfiest coziest slippers and relax.  
Well Worn White
from the Walks thru Life: Shoe Portraits Series
acrylic on canvas
10" x 10"

These fuzzy friends have long since retired (with some help from a larger furry friend!) but this painting is a reminder that if you do need an excuse or a reason to just chill out- this painting does the job!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Staying in Touch- Artist as Collector

New Jersey based artist Donna Payton is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.
Corner of the Midnight Dream
acrylic on wood panel 
9" x 6" (23cm x 15cm)

I met Jun'ichiro Ishida when we were both doing an artist's residency at Vermont Studio Center several years ago.  He is a very interesting artist from Japan living and working in Brooklyn with his wife, a talented jewelry artisan.  Besides his work consisting of a modern interpretation of gorgeous traditional Japanese landscapes, I was drawn to his big smile and friendly manner.  He had a book on Buddhism in his studio at the center and we began talking. We have stayed in touch through email, as well as going to shows and openings together. 

Jun's piece is so uplifting and beautiful. He designed my first website (which he is also excellent at). Jun recently took the train to visit me in my studio. I am purchasing another of his small works to hang by this one. Jun is working on it right now. 

Donna Payton is a painter, sculptor and mixed media artist living and working in New Jersey. 
Her sculpture Color Code Cone with a sound piece with computer generated music by her son, Jason Rosenstein, coming from the cone. It will be included in a show called Noise at the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ,  September 2013-  January 2014.